It would seem the only person in Washington, DC that was disappointed on Friday was House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-SF). The day began with a strong jobs report and the booming economy. These are new reasons for the GOP to have optimism going into the midterm elections.
Unemployment Lower Again
The economy added 223,000 jobs in May. The news was unexpected when coupled with the unemployment report that showed the national average at a record low 3.8 percent.
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell boldly predicted that the rate could plunge to 3.5 percent marking its lowest point in 45 years. Whatever the prognostications may be, the economic news is stunning.
Trump naturally hailed the numbers in remarks on Friday. He pledged that it is only the beginning of the economic resurgence in this country. The news certainly does not hurt the Republicans’ chances of holding onto the House and possibly making gains in the Senate.
The president’s agenda of lower taxes and less regulation is clearly working. Whereas the party out of power traditionally gains seats in off-year elections, this year may be an exception.
Trump Job Approval Rating
Democrats need to pick up 23 seats to win control of the House and two seats to seize the Senate. Both opportunities are becoming more remote by the day. Not only that, but Trump’s job approval rating has picked up this year.
The once-substantial lead that Democrats had on the generic congressional ballot has shrunk. It is now within the margin of error. A Reuters/Ipsos poll released Thursday showed Democrats with a narrow 2-point lead on the generic ballot.
The news is disheartening for the Democrats. They had banked on the Russian collusion investigation and the media’s near 100 percent hatred of Trump to pull them through in 2018. But the president has made huge strides with blue-collar workers and his populist agenda.
The Democrat Narrative
By winning the states of Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin in the last election, Trump has proven he can go toe to toe with Democrats in most areas of the country. The Democrats have their work cut out for them. They have no narrative other than their extreme dislike of the president.
Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) held a press conference shortly before the Memorial Day recess to blame gas prices on Trump’s decision to pull out of the Iran deal. The Democrats feel this may be the best way to enter the hearts of the undecided voter. But the economic tailwind for the Republicans makes single issue policies doubtful for a voter turnaround.
Moderate Democrats have begun to realize (perhaps too late) that their party is too focused on highlighting Trump’s leadership flaws. That may be the understatement of the year. The Democrats have not expressed their own economic vision. They Only have Trump-bashing 24/7.
Democrats in Washington may dismiss Trump’s claims that he’s responsible for the good economy. That’s all well and good, but the vast majority of Americans think otherwise.